Tyne & Wear

Newcastle cancer patients helped on road to recovery

Daft as a Brush people carrier
Image caption The people carrier made its first journey from Northumberland to Newcastle

A Newcastle charity is helping cancer patients on their journey to recovery by providing them with free travel to and from their home for treatment.

Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care was set up last year by former millionaire-turned-philanthropist Brian Burnie from Newcastle.

Now the first volunteer driven vehicle to be provided by the charity has made its debut trip.

It is now looking for volunteers to increase its services in the region.

Brian Burnie sold his Doxford Park Hotel and Estate last year in a multimillion-pound deal.

'Immense' reward

He invested all of the proceeds into the charity to provide a fleet of taxis for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The organisation is now hoping to create enough vehicles capable of transporting 50,000 cancer patients per year.

Mr Burnie, said: "We need lots and lots of volunteers. We're hoping to have a fleet of 25 vehicles over the next nine months so we're needing lots and lots of drivers.

"They're not really drivers, we've called them chauffeurs because they're moving VIP', very important patients.

Image caption The charity is looking for volunteers to increase its services in the region

"Daft as a Brush is going to be a thousand times bigger than Doxford Hall. I only wish I'd done it 40 years earlier. The reward that I get and all the other volunteers get is immense."

The first mode of transport to be put into use is called Starlight and is a seven-seat people carrier decorated with the Daft as a Brush characters.

'A big difference'

The first patient to use Daft as a Brush's services was Eddie Carson from Winlaton, Newcastle.

Last year Mr Carson had a mastectomy to remove a cancerous growth after he was diagnosed with breast cancer.

He needed radiotherapy and was helped to and from his home for treatment by the charity.

He said: "Because of the mastectomy I was banned from driving for months, it was too much pressure to put on the arm so driving was out of the question.

"I was approached by somebody at the hospital and asked if I would be happy to be transported by a brightly coloured vehicle. It makes a big difference."

Mr Carson now wants to become a volunteer to help others.

For more information on becoming a volunteer, visit the Daft as a Brush Cancer Patient Care website.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites